Water-pipe smoking grows more common on American college campuses
For details about the growth of water-pipe smoking on American college campuses, see here.
Hookah dangerous to health, says WHO
The World Health Organization recently characterized hookah (water pipe) smoking as dangerous and not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. For the AP story, see here.
"I'd almost call it an epidemic," said Sean O'Neill, 20, a personal trainer who lives in Tacoma
In liberal and literate Seattle, hookah lounges have opened on trendy downtown blocks and in predominantly white neighborhoods in the outer city...Its customers are not middle-aged Egyptian men, but white kids from the suburbs. MSNBC News reports.
Bad news for hookah smokers
Though hookah pipes are widely viewed as a "safer" way to smoke, they may be as damaging to the teeth and gums as cigarettes are, a new study suggests. Reuters reports.
Smoke like an Egyptian
Hookahs used to be associated with marijuana, opium dens and progressive rock (or that's what we vaguely remember). But legitimate hookah bars started appearing in California in the late 1990s, and, despite the anti-smoking surge, they are booming, especially in college towns. The Economist reports here.
Passing the pipe, Middle Eastern-style, is catching on in Seattle
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports (15 April 2005) on the growing use of the hookah pipe in the U.S. Over the past year or so, the water pipe used to smoke a smooshy, wet tobacco has gained popularity with teens and college students. The trend has been burning up in larger cities in the U.S. (New York, San Francisco, etc.), as well as in places where there's a Middle Eastern/African cultural density (such as Dearborn, Mich., and Vancouver, B.C.) to support several thriving hookah bars and cafes. And now, it's finally picking up steam in Seattle. Find the full story here.
Tobacco ban would threaten Arab culture
The Montreal Gazette reports (12 May 2005) that a ban on smoking in public places that the Quebec government plans to impose in January could get rid of a part of Arab culture in Montreal. Cigarettes are not the issue here, though, it's the fact that shishas are included in the ban. The shisha is variously known as a hookah, nargile, hubbly bubbly, or water pipe. It has been a standard smoking utensil in the Middle East for centuries, originating in Turkey more than 500 years ago. Shishas are common in the homes and cafes of Montreal's large Arab community, either as a display or for smoking. Find the full story here.
Look beyond the smoke
Arizona State University's Web Devil reports (30 March 2005) that while hookah has been around for ages, originating in the Middle East, it is relatively new to the US, and there have been next to no studies done on it. As a result, a lot of people are under the misconception that hookah is healthier than cigarettes. Although hookah waters down tobacco, it doesn't water down the effects tobacco has on your body. Find the full story here.